Carving out an enviable reputation across the globe for his distinctive and highly personal brand of House music, Kiko Navarro’s voyage of sonic discovery has been going strong for almost three decades now.
Born on Mallorca, Kiko’s sound reflects the sun-drenched, slow living atmosphere of the Balearic island he still calls home. Obsessed from an early age with the more soulful side of US House music, Navarro’s DJ skills soon attracted the attention of nightlife behemoth Pacha who offered him club residencies both in Palma and in Ibiza. Next came a monthly gig at Space Ibiza and the rest, as they say, is history.
Despite having been DJing for more than a quarter of a century, Kiko Navarro is constantly growing and developing his style; it’s an approach that keeps him in constant demand at some of the most prestigious nightclubs on the planet. From London to the Far East, Kiko has travelled the far and wide with his music, embracing sounds from each continent as he goes. Equally at home on festival stages at Southport Weekender and Southern Soul Festival or in some dark, underground sweat-box, Kiko’s passion is palpable; his music selections impeccable.
Inspired by his experiences as a DJ, Kiko Navarro brought a multitude of influences into the studio as he began to master the art of production. Underpinned by his obvious devotion to House music, Kiko’s love of afro-latin sounds has been evident in his feel-good, dance-floor oriented productions since the very beginning. His connection to Pacha led to several releases on the label as well as a mixed compilation ‘The Latin Sound Of Pacha’ which was issued on Tommy Boy records in 2001. Working with many of the world’s most respected imprints such as Local Talk, King Street Sounds and Osunlade’s Yoruba Records attracted an impressive list of top flight DJs to Kiko’s music, ranging all the way from Gilles Peterson on one end of the musical spectrum to Jeff Mills on the other.
Following several busy years spent touring the world as the official DJ for the Ducati Marlboro Moto GP Team, Kiko locked himself away in the studio, emerging in 2017 with a new solo album: ‘Everything Happens For A Reason’. Released on BBE Records, a label renowned for quality music of all shades, the album is gaining plaudits from across the musical community thanks to its warmth, originality and soul. Ten years on from his debut LP ‘Perceptions’, Kiko revisited its biggest hit ‘Soñando Contigo’, creating a brand new ‘Orchestral’ version for 2017 and in the process paying homage to the track that made him famous. Featuring special guest appearances from DJ Spen, Concha Buika, Boris Dlugosch and Julie McKnight, ‘Everything Happens For A Reason’ displays each shade of Kiko’s musical palette in vivid Technicolor.
A true Renaissance Man; now also a family man, today’s Kiko Navarro is perhaps even more focused and dedicated to his life in music than ever before. An album tour this year will see him play DJ sets in Italy, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, Japan, South Korea, China with many more to be confirmed. Whether in the studio crafting records or in the club controlling the dance-floor, Kiko’s musical mission has become the habit of a lifetime.
Will Sumsuch (5 Magazine, Chicago)
Afroterraneo Music 2022